We were delighted to be invited back to host an event for Godalming’s Staycation last month. With life starting to get back to something that resembles the pre-pandemic world, Godalming Town Council hosted Staycation again in August.
Roots for the Future led a guided and mindful walk around Broadwater park, identifying trees and discussing their importance. Over thirty people, including Godalming’s Mayor Michael Steel, joined our walk, from toddler up to quite a few elders. We spent a happy couple of hours in the sunshine sharing our love for trees and amazing facts about their benefits, not only to the health of our planet, but to our wellbeing too.
The process of writing and practicing the tree walk was extremely useful for me. I learnt more about specific trees and how to identify them. Quite a few non-native ones were difficult for me to identify, such as this Liquidambar which will be stunning in the autumn months.
We learnt that in this Sycamore (a type of tree introduced to Britain by the Romans) is a bat box. What a small opening for the bats to get into the box!
The walk had elements of forest bathing as well as tree identification. Forest Bathing, put simply, is a mindful walk amongst trees, deliberately taking in your surroundings and connecting with the nature around you. Read more about Forest Bathing here. One part of forest bathing is to have lots of moments of silence to really open up your senses in the woodland. We had two silent walks, one to listen to the birds, the rustle of the leaves and the sounds of the nature around us as we walked into the woodland, and the other to look out for rabbits. The silence worked and we saw one bounce across our path.
Another important part of forest bathing is to stop under a tree for a meditation. While this walk didn’t have a guided meditation, we did stop at one of the more sensory trees on the walk, to feel, smell and contemplate in five minutes of silence. It was wonderful how well received these silences and moments of mindfulness were received.
Roots for the Future will be holding more guided walks in the future and we are happy to work with schools, councils and health organisations to tailor them to specific attendees.